The Justin Veatch Fund is proud to announce that Yorktown attorney Sal Lagonia will be joining its board of directors. Lagonia, who was re-elected to a third term as Yorktown justice in November, has a keen interest in working with teens and has served on the board of directors of Student Assistance Services Inc., the Westchester County Youth Board and chaired the Yorktown Recreation Commission. Lagonia practices family law, real estate law, business and aviation law and is an aviation analyst for Fox News. Lagonia is also a musician (trumpet, flugelhorn, piano and guitar) who performs regularly with the Class Action band. He spoke of the important role music plays in his life when he delivered the keynote at The Fund’s 2017 scholarship awards program.
“The Veatch Fund has a special place in my heart,” says Lagonia, “as it joins together two passions of mine: music and our fight to reduce the drug problem in a positive way. To me, music is ultimately uplifting, and we must bring that empowering message to our neighbors, young and old.”
The Justin Veatch Fund, a 501(c)3 organization and registered New York charity, was created in 2009 following the death of 17-year-old Justin Veatch from an accidental drug overdose as he began his senior year in high school. Justin was a talented songwriter/musician whose music can be heard on Spotify and other streaming platforms. The Fund’s mission is to honor his legacy with music scholarships to graduating high school seniors, music programs for teens and counseling on the dangers of teen drug abuse. 29 scholarships have been awarded so far with six more planned for June.
Jeffrey Veatch, Justin’s father and The Fund’s president, has delivered his multimedia talk A Message from Justin to more than 35 thousand students with the goal of inspiring teens to take better care of themselves and watch out for their friends. The documentary film Whispering Spirits which tells Justin’s story has been screened in classrooms and community events in more than 36 states and is endorsed by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
“We believe Judge Lagonia can help us advance our goals as we search for new ways to mentor teens,” says Veatch. “Among other things, we hope to renew teen music workshops in 2018 and will be looking for new avenues to harness the power of Justin’s message.”
On the board, Lagonia joins dedicated community advocates and Veatch family members who are passionate about honoring Justin’s legacy by empowering teens and expanding musical opportunities for them.